Governor Cuomo reports that he has issued Executive Order 170 that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual’s immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service.
According to Cuomo’s office, law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity. This prohibition against inquiring into status includes, but is not limited to, when an individual approaches a law enforcement officer seeking assistance, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime.
“As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York became the Empire State due to the contributions of immigrants from every corner of the globe and we will not let the politics of fear and intimidation divide us.”
According to the Governor’s office, the Executive Order builds on Cuomo’s commitment to ensure full protections for all immigrants in New York. In March, Governor Cuomo launched the Liberty Defense Project, the nation’s first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative, to respond to the surge in demand for help that is overwhelming nonprofit organizations serving immigrants.
The partnership is supported by more than $10 million in funding to offer legal assistance and representation to immigrants in New York, regardless of their status, through a statewide network of attorneys and advocacy organizations.